Policy

Require subsidy matching

Many industries that are essential to the United Kingdom (including rail, water, electricity generation and supply, gas supply and other utilities) have been privatised in recent decades, but continue to rely on massive government subsidy for infrastructure investment. These private organisations then take millions in support whilst continuing to provide dividends to their shareholders and massive pay and benefits to their senior staff.

Bring in a tax minister

The UK's tax system is overcomplicated. There is a lack of clear responsibility for regulatory and implementation failures, and failures in the administration of tax credits is often seen as an administrative fact of life. We will aim to make it much clearer who is responsible for the collection and administration of our tax system by appointing a Tax minister.

Our Tax minister's brief will be to simplify the tax system and to ensure that its administration is as efficient as possible whilst also putting a face on a system that is often seen as faceless, bureaucratic and unfair.

No more bank bailouts

The bailing out of British banks during and shortly after the bank crisis by the government may have shored up some banks, but at a huge cost. We don't think that banks should be allowed to profit from risky behaviour. We must draw a line under the 'too big to fail culture' and resolve that the UK taxpayer is no longer required to prop-up incompetent or overstretched banks. There should be no more bankers' bailouts.

Put the Treasury's economic models online

Hiding economic data and the basis on which predictions are made is bad for confidence and makes it harder anyone to challenge the decisions made by government. The Pirate Party will ensure that information that aids analysis and planning, like the Treasury's economic models, are available to anyone via the Internet or at request.

Reduce tax evasion

To reduce tax evasion, we will aim to increase penalties for engaging in schemes aimed to evade tax unlawfully. The penalty for tax evasion should be sufficiently punitive that getting caught once outweighs the benefits of having engaged in evasion over a period of years.

Encourage entrepreneurship through micro-businesses

We will promote micro-business as a driver for innovation and competition in the British economy. A micro-business is a very small business with a single owner and no employees, one with a turnover of less than £2500/year. The first £1500 of income earned from micro-business would be tax free, nor would the income from such an operation have an impact on benefits.

Remove commercial restrictions on suburbia

It is important that local and national governments do not prevent people from setting up businesses or innovating. We will ensure that there are no unreasonable barriers preventing home-owners from making the best possible use of their houses and gardens for work. We believe it is important that, within existing limitations on noise and environmental harm, we remove restrictions that prevent people from doing business from and with their homes.

Implement a land value tax

The tax system is broken and too easily evaded. A land value tax would raise more from the rich without penalising the poor, whilst at the same time being much harder to dodge than traditional income tax. It would also support economic productivity, as those who rely on existing assets for income would be charged, whereas those who work for a living would not. The Pirate Party would support a land value tax.

Create jobs

The current approach to economic stimulus (providing large amounts of money to certain institutions in the hope that it will eventually lead to increased lending and so the expansion of businesses and the creation of jobs) is not effective. It gives an advantage to a specific sector of our economy by allowing the financial sector to shape the economy of the UK more broadly. The economy will only recover when people have secure jobs and enough money to live, spend in the economy, and invest in their pensions and savings.

A “Robin Hood Tax” on financial institutions

A tiny tax on stock market transactions would raise significant revenue and act as a disincentive to engage in activities like high-frequency trading. It will be our aim to promote a coordinated international effort to implement such a scheme.

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